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Old 04-14-2017, 09:09 AM   #1
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Layout Question

Hello there Skoolie land!


I'm getting closer to the point of being able to start shopping for a bus at auction and start the actual process of conversion (rather than the last year of research/following other builds).

Anyhow - I had a general question about possible layouts. I know the floorplan is really going to depend on what type of bus I get, Ie- RE, flatnose, FE, etc...

In looking at most people's layouts, I've noticed a "theme" and wanted to see if it was possible to do something different. I'll be living full-time in the bus, but just me (divorced w no kids). I'm wanting more of a "open floor plan" layout than the traditional "pinch" in the middle with partitioning separating the bathroom/shower area from the rest of the bus (living room / bedroom space).

So, what I'd like to know from the more well versed folks out there, is it possible in a particular style bus to have a "rear shower" and the kitchen area just behind the driver seat - leaving the couch and bed more towards the center?

Will this be possible - or will the drivetrain, etc - under the bus prevent the necessary plumbing and water tanks?

(thanks!)


Jay
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:12 AM   #2
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Welcome Jay

There are a small number of us that like the open floor plan. You can do just about anything you want. Of course your kitchen plumbing will need to drain into a tank, so anywhere you can put your kitchen and the holding tank (grey water) is fair game.

I'm also living alone after a family. I've rearranged my bus numerous time trying out different floorplans. It's a novel idea to put your living room in the middle of the bus. I chose to put the living room area in the front so in the event that I had passengers at some time they weren't half way back in the bus while I was driving. Also there's not much room for tanks in the front of my bus.

Another thing I think is highly useful while bus living is having a nation wide gym membership. It's nice to go for a soak and steam now and then. It also cuts way down on water usage in your bus.

There sure are a lot of bus people down in FL. You should try to go to the FL skoolie meetup on the 22nd. You'll find a thread here covering that. Go meet some people and look at their buses while having a nice time.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:50 AM   #3
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Hey Robin,

Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I think - for full time living - the open floor plan will help with any claustrophobia and/or and cabin fever (though I will be pretty active with working and hobbies).

I like your idea of the living space somewhere towards the driver, to allow for interaction while motoring - though I'm not sure I'll have much an occasion for that! ha ha.

Your bus is a RE, correct? Is there much under bus "storage" / "tank" area avail towards the rear of a RE bus?
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:53 AM   #4
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Howdy Neighbor!

I just started my conversion (I am in Seffner, FL) - and I am still playing with design ideas - I love the open floor plan - The more windows the better!! There are as many right ways to design a bus as there are people designing (and more).

I have 7' 6" x 20' to work with - and want to be able to change things around when I get bored

IMG_6536.jpg


So far I have a hammock...

- Roger

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Originally Posted by jpm9909 View Post
Hey Robin,

Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I think - for full time living - the open floor plan will help with any claustrophobia and/or and cabin fever (though I will be pretty active with working and hobbies).

I like your idea of the living space somewhere towards the driver, to allow for interaction while motoring - though I'm not sure I'll have much an occasion for that! ha ha.

Your bus is a RE, correct? Is there much under bus "storage" / "tank" area avail towards the rear of a RE bus?
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Old 04-15-2017, 07:18 AM   #5
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imo, it all depends.

for me, locating the black tank was the first step in planning my layout. the toilet needs to have a straight drop into the tank.

most FE bus have a battery box about where you would want to put your bathroom. it will all depend on whats underneath as to where you can hang a tank.

good luck
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Old 04-15-2017, 10:37 AM   #6
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imo, it all depends.

for me, locating the black tank was the first step in planning my layout. the toilet needs to have a straight drop into the tank.

most FE bus have a battery box about where you would want to put your bathroom. it will all depend on whats underneath as to where you can hang a tank.

good luck
I agree that locating Black & Grey tanks are first important steps BUT the toilet does not need a straight drop into the tank, My black tank is about 20ft behind where my toilet will be mounted, I'm using a macerating toilet which will turn waste into a slurry & pump it where I need it to go.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:10 AM   #7
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Actually my bus is a 26' Bluebird TC1000 FE handicap bus. There is no under storage available unless I make some storage compartments, which is on the list eventually.

Actually it doesn't matter that much where your passenger/living room area is located. It's what works best for you that matters. I put my passenger area up front because if I have guests at some point I don't want them walking through my personal living areas to have a seat for visiting or travel. So living room up front, which allows interaction while driving and keeps any camping boot mess up front rather than in the personal living space.

I divide this bus into thirds. The front third is the passenger and driver's area, the middle third is my personal living space and the back third of the bus is a garage for motorcycles and/or work/hobby area.

During the winter's I plan to section off the middle living/sleeping area with some type of simple partition to hold heat in the sleeping area better. Even with full insulation it can take a lot of energy to heat the entire bus on a cold winter night. Otherwise I tend to keep an open floor plan. I like to be able to move furnishings around as I work on different projects to get this bus completed. When out in the woods I like to be able to uncover all the windows so I can watch wild game.

My bus was designated as a van on the title which restricts me from building a full live in conversion. Self built motorhomes in Oregon are not insurable. I can't do the permanently mounted water and waste tanks, or anything else that would push this bus into the motorhome category. I did fully insulate the ceilings and walls, but I have no permanent plumbing or mounted propane tanks that would make this bus lean toward motorhomeizm.

So I'm camping in a metal tent with wheels. I don't even have a refrigerator. I love going places but can't deal with sleeping on the ground at my age. Now I can travel and still get a good night's sleep. In the mornings I'm not struggling to build a fire so I can make coffee and cook. I'm not looking for luxury but I'm not wanting to ruff it anymore either.

I give it half a star.
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Old 04-15-2017, 12:01 PM   #8
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If you get a rear-engine bus, you won't have exhaust or driveline running under the middle of the bus - making it a bit easier to place tanks. But having the bathroom all the way in the back would be tricky with a rear-engine - there's not much space between the rear axle and the engine/tranny. Seems to me like you'd actually be better off with a FE in that situation. Put your bathroom in the back, and gray water tank behind the back axle. You'll have a REALLY long run from your kitchen sink drain back to the gray water tank...what about just having 2 gray water tanks instead? would be somewhat annoying, but might be a good option for you. If you go with composting toilet, you won't need to carry as much freshwater, and you can skip the black water tank all together.

I've also got some info to help you pick which bus would work best for you over on my website -Choosing the best bus body style for your build ‚ÄĒ Buslandia
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:05 AM   #9
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Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback/info...

Sounds like a FE may be the way to go.... but I really imagine it'll all depend on when I get the funds (crossing fingers in about 3 weeks!) - and try for an auction, it'll depend on the actual bus I buy.

When's the next FL meetup?
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by jpm9909 View Post
Thanks guys, I really appreciate the feedback/info...

Sounds like a FE may be the way to go.... but I really imagine it'll all depend on when I get the funds (crossing fingers in about 3 weeks!) - and try for an auction, it'll depend on the actual bus I buy.

When's the next FL meetup?
This weekend at yellowXJ's
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